On September 21st, nearly ten months after I moved to Auckland & just before I left New Zealand, I hopped on the ferry to Waiheke for a day trip. While I later met up with my friend who was living on the island, I went to the first vineyard/winery, Cable Bay Vineyards, alone. It is a very nice and quick walk up from the ferry, if difficult to find the trail. The view from the winery is incredible, best expierenced on their Verandah, and their basic tasting is 4 for $10. It was a goregous first stop.
Cable Bay has two vineyard locations --Waiheke, where they planted their first vines in 1998 & the site of their winery, & Awatere Valley in Marlborough, aquired in 2013. The Waiheke vineyard soil is a mixture of weathered rocks & clay with some mineralized veins on top of sandstone & mudstone from the Jurassic period. The Awatere Valley soil is windblown loam & greywacke alluvial gravel.
Sauvignon Blanc 2017, fermented & aged on lees in a stainless steel vat, from Awatere Valley in Marlborough. Nose: rhubarb, grass, lime. Taste: a little high acid for my taste. Decent.
Chardonnay 2015, a blend of clones Mendoza, 15, 6 & 95, fermented & aged in stainless steel with 11% in barrels, from Awatere Valley in Marlborough. Nose: green pineapple, green apple. Taste: slightly butter, not quite ripe pineapple.
Chardonnay 2017, fermented in French oak puncheons & barriques (27% new) & some Malolactic Fermentation, from Waiheke Island. Nose: butter, apple. Taste: riper pinapple than the last, some malo. Prefered Chard.
Five Hills 2018, a blend of 70% Malbec & 30% Merlot, whole berry ferment & aged in French oak barriques, from Waiheke Island. Nose: fruit forward, cocoa, hazelnut, blackberry. Taste: lots of pepper on the edge, less fruit than the nose, pruney.
I suspect that the bottles had been opened a wee bit too long considering I was one of the first tasters that day and we were almost hitting the end of the bottles so take my tasting notes with a grain of salt.
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